Multimedia Dance Performance “Fruits borne out of rust” at Japan Society

Fruits borne out of rust

Friday, March 6 at 7:30 p.m. – Followed by a MetLife Meet-the-Artist Reception
Saturday, March 7 at 7:30 p.m. – Followed by an artist Q&A

Japan Society – 333 E. 47th Street (between 1st and 2nd Avenues)

Admission: $32 / $25 Japan Society members.

Japan Society presents Fruits borne out of rust, a multimedia dance performance conceived and directed by internationally recognized Japanese visual artist Tabaimo. Fruits borne out of rust uses Tabaimo’s signature drawings and video installations in a performance featuring solo dancer Chiharu Mamiya and two on-stage musicians playing an original score by Yusuke Awazu and Keisuke Tanaka.

Tabaimo’s intricate animations transform the stage into a wood-floor apartment, a large birdcage that traps the dancer with a dove, and a line of tatami mats that swallows the dancer whole.

Her collaborator, award-winning choreographer Maki Morishita, mischievously blends the subtle movements of the dancer’s extremities with the dynamic drive of her limbs and torso, enhancing Tabaimo’s peculiar and introspective world.

Mi Kara Deta Sabi

The title, Fruits borne out of rust, is a play on words of the Japanese expression mi kara deta sabi, or “rust from the body (of a sword).” It refers to the blade of a sword that rusts due to the owner’s negligence and lack of care, symbolizing a person whose failures are caused by his or her own sloppiness. However, Tabaimo views rust as an unseemly and energetic by-product of iron attempting to stabilize through oxidization.

By flipping the words in the Japanese title Sabi kara deta mi, or “Fruits borne out of rust,” Tabaimo conveys the hope that something (mi, or fruits), or new life, may germinate from the unstable process of aging; that there is the potential for progress even though the body may feel rusty from neglect. The narrative of this performance revolves around the fluctuations between stability and instability — an endless loop suggesting room for growth, and eventually, the possibility of bearing fruit.

About the Director

A native of Hyogo Prefecture, Tabaimo is a contemporary Japanese artist who has exhibited her immersive, thought-provoking video installations around the world. She represented Japan at the 54th Venice Biennale in 2011 and has had solo exhibitions in major cities in the US and worldwide. International group exhibitions include the 2001 Yokohama Triennale; the Sao Paolo Biennale the following year; the 15th Biennale of Sydney, Australia, in 2006; and the 52nd International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia in 2007.

Using drawings and coloration that evoke the hand-made nature of ukiyo-e, traditional Japanese woodblock prints, and combining them with sophisticated computer technology, Tabaimo’s animated installations offer a surreal, complex, and sometimes disturbing vision of contemporary Japanese society.

You can find her work in the collections of the National Museum of Art, Osaka; Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo; the Israel Museum, Jerusalem; MUSAC, Spain; Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Asia Society Museum, New York; and the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

About the Choreographer

Born in 1975 in Oita Prefecture, Japan, Maki Morishita is a choreographer and dancer who pushes the boundaries of dance by mixing it with other types of performance. Due to her father’s job, Morishita’s family frequently moved, causing her to change schools often when she was a child. Whenever she transferred to a new school, she started creating original plays in order to make friends, which became the beginning of her involvement in the dance world.

She studied contemporary dance and butoh under Kim Itoh and worked as a dancer for ‘Kim Itoh + the Glorious Future’ from 1997 to 1999. She joined the contemporary dance company ‘Study of Live works BANETO,’ founded in 1998 by choreographer/dancer Tsuyoshi Shirai, which went on to tour 25 cities in nine countries around the world. In 2003, she began to create and choreograph her solo works. Her first work, Debutant, won the Yokohama City Arts Foundation Award at Yokohama Dance Collection Solo x Duo <Compétition> in 2004 and toured more than 20 major cities in Japan, Korea, Italy, and Finland.

Her second solo work, Tokyo Flat (Koshitsu), won the Outstanding Performance Award at Tokyo Competition ♯2 and has subsequently toured to six countries. In 2007 she was invited to participate in an artists-in-residency program at Full Moon Dance Festival in Finland to create a new work for Finnish dancers. So far, she has performed in 30 international cities including New York City at Japan Society’s popular Contemporary Dance Showcase program in 2011. In 2014, she was awarded the 8th Japan Dance Forum (JaDaFo) Award for her collaboration with Tabaimo on the first version of Fruits bourne out of rust. In 2015, she was named a Saison Senior Fellow by The Saison Foundation, and for the past three years under that fellowship, she has been working to expand her portfolio as a choreographer of group and solo work.

For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit Japan Society’s website.

JapanCultureNYC is the English-language website dedicated to all things Japanese in New York City. Discover your next favorite Japanese anything at